On Saturday, March 30 some 200 Palestinians and allies gathered at Park Street Station for a rally entitled ‘Tear Down the Walls: the Great March of Return in Gaza, One Year On.’
After chants and speeches they took to the streets to demand an end to the siege and the killing in Gaza and a recognition of refugees’ right of return.
Seventy percent of the 2 million people living under lock-down conditions in the tiny Gaza Strip are refugees from lands that became the State of Israel. They began their nonviolent civil society protests a year ago on Land Day, March 30, which is held annually in Palestine to mark the date in 1976 when Israeli forces killed six Palestinians who were protesting massive land confiscations in the Galilee.
During the past year their weekly unarmed protests have been met with lethal force from Israel, which has killed 260 people including more than 40 children, and wounded approximately 26,000 people, many severely.
While the solidarity rally was happening in Boston, in Gaza people were mourning the deaths of three 17 year olds, Tamer Alen el Khair, Adham Amara, and Belal al-Najjar, who had just been shot dead by Israeli forces. Hundreds more were wounded during the Great March anniversary demonstration in the Gaza Strip.
In February 2019, a United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry report expressed alarm at the targeting of journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities by Israeli snipers and found that their actions could constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Both photos are by Pat Westwater-Jong.